2nd Amendment case: The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of the NY Rifle and Pistol Association v City of New York over the law that severely restricts gun owners from taking their guns anywhere outside of their home. It’s one of the most hotly debated cases coming before the court in years, and the first one about the 2A to be accepted by the court since 2010. A large number of US Representatives signed an Amici Curiae in support of the 2nd Amendment. The brief was filed on May 14, according to the scotusblog.
New York City has a problem with overreaching in an effort to make gun laws as restrictive and miserable for gun owners as possible. The Second Circuit court sided with the city, hence the case before the Supreme Court. At issue is New York’s “premises license.”
For now, the issue before the Supreme Court is the circumstances in which premises licensees can travel with their own firearms.
New York City currently allows them to do so only for specified purposes and only to one of seven approved shooting ranges in the city, which in some cases require advanced written permission from the NYPD. In all cases, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked container, with any ammunition stored separately.
The plaintiffs in the case, however, wish to travel with their lawfully licensed handguns to ranges outside the city for use in training or competition. One plaintiff wants to be able to take his lawfully licensed handgun back and forth between his New York City residence and his second home in upstate New York.
These are all prohibited by New York City’s rules.
The time to file amicus briefs was extended to August 5, 2019. An amicus brief is a “friend of the court,” and those who send them to the Supreme Court hope to sway the votes of the judges. Amici curiae is the plural of the term, denoting more than one person. Both sides have filed them in this contested case, with organizations from anti-gun organizations like Giffords Law Center to pro-2nd amendment Judicial Watch to private individuals on both sides of the issue. But the amazing brief was filed by 120 members of the House of Representatives.
The brief can be read in its entirety at this link. The names of the signatories can be found in the Appendix.
The House of Rep brief had three premises:
The Second Amendment enshrines the fundamental right of citizens to protect themselves from violence and tyranny.
Courts should place a heavy burden on the government to show that a restriction on the right to keep and carry weapons does not violate the Second Amendment.
Speculative public-safety concerns cannot justify broad restrictions on the right to bear arms.
The Congress members who signed the brief went on to say:
Members of Congress swear an oath (or affirm) to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and they have an obligation to defend the principles of liberty enshrined in that document. They, therefore, have a strong interest in ensuring that governments at all levels of our federal system comply with constitutional guarantees and do not infringe on citizens’ rights. Moreover, the Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment directly affects the fundamental right of the people to defend themselves from violence and tyranny. As duly elected representatives of the people of the United States and members of a coequal branch of government, members of Congress have an obligation to urge the Court to prevent restriction and erosion of that fundamental right.
Sometimes it’s almost shocking when a small handful of our elected officials take a stand not only for keeping their oaths of office, but for the American citizens they were elected to represent. It shouldn’t be that way, but it’s the time in which we are living. Kudos to those who stepped up to sign the brief, and we thank them for their 2nd Amendment stand!
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Author: Faye Higbee
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